Foundation Courses

Course contents

In addition to introductory studies in trade theory, trade policy and development, course participants will be required to undergo an intensive practically oriented module on International Negotiation and Cooperation combining theoretical study and moot negotiations. The theoretical study will include the Negotiations in international relations; actors in trade diplomacy, Sovereign states as negotiators; nongovernmental actors; Broad context for negotiations; documents; methods and processes in trade diplomacy; negotiation skills; soft skills like interpersonal skills, communication skills and emotional intelligence.  The moot trade negotiations will provide the practical dimension of this component, and will be based on data retrieved or retrievable after the participants go through the trade data retrieval and analysis module.

During the entire course participants will be required to write and submit a short analytical paper for grading as one of the requirements for the award of Certificate of Competence. If participants do not write the research paper or where the paper submitted is below standard, a Certificate of Attendance will be issued.

The above content will be spread in six (6) short study modules, each lasting 1-5 days of intensive on site (residential) training. These are:

1. International Trade and Development
Trade and development – a brief introduction; Globalization trends and patterns and the LDCs; Trade policy instruments and the economics of trade policy; Trade liberalisation in LDCs: reform experiences and the political economy of trade policy formation; Facilitating trade in LDCs; External trade policy patterns and trends affecting developing countries, including tariff peaks, tariff escalation, and preference erosion; Agriculture, trade and development; Industry, trade and development; Services, trade and development; Investment, trade and development; Intellectual property rights, trade and development.

2.  Introduction to International Trade Law
The Global Trade Regulatory Framework; The historical development and current structure of the global trade system; Trade in goods – the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT);Key principles of the GATT (MFN, national treatment, tariffs vs. QR), noting special arrangements for agriculture and special and differential treatment of DCs; Additional agreements and annexes on specific issues (Safeguards, AD, SCVM, TBT, SPS), noting special arrangements for agriculture and special and differential treatment of DCs; Trade in services – the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS); Dispute settlement; Investment and TRIMS; Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS); Relations between the national, regional and global trade systems, with a focus on the African regional trade arrangements and the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the EU; Current problems and potential solutions for the WTO, including non-agricultural market access (NAMA), trade facilitation and aid for trade; Leadership in Trade: Considerations for Trade Policy Formulation in LDCs;

3. Trade Data Retrieval and Analysis 
Participants are guided through data retrieval and analysis skills. The module involves guided and own data retrieval exercises. Data retrieved and analyzed may then be used as the basis for moot trade negotiations.

4.  Leadership Development for Trade
Introduction to trade negotiations and cooperation; The art of negotiating – techniques and tactics; negotiations in international relations; actors, documents, methods, and processes in trade diplomacy, Sovereign states as negotiators; nongovernmental actors; Broad context for negotiations; negotiation skills; soft skills like interpersonal skills, communication skills and emotional intelligence; General background on WTO and WTO negotiations; Bilateral negotiations.

5. International Negotiations and Cooperation for Trade
Leadership and Development; Leadership and Competitiveness; Trade and poverty reduction; the role national and regional institutions in promoting regionally beneficial trade legislation and policy; the role of national and regional institutions in promoting regionally beneficial trade negotiations and cooperation; planning for trade negotiations; documents and processes  involved in trade negotiations; Decision making; team development and team management for optimal results; identifying and addressing team problems; team morale and goal setting; long term and short term strategic planning for trade; integrated planning; communication skills; building the human resources base for trade; considerations for Trade Policy Formulation in LDCs; South –South and South-North negotiations.

6. Analytical Paper 
Under the guidance of Faculty, participants write an analytical paper of 1 500 – 2 000 words on a topic relevant to trade and development in an LDC context. The paper outline should be ready by the first week, and should be in draft form by the second week. There are writing guidelines for participants and an oral presentation of the paper before the final version is graded. Those who write the paper and obtain at least 50% can qualify for the Certificate of Competence, while those who either do not write the paper or write it but do not obtain the 50% mark get a Certificate of Attendance.